McDonald’s says it started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people.
The fast-food giant pointed to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, saying holding on to its business in Russia “is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.”
The Chicago-based company had temporarily closed its stores in Russia but was still paying employees. On Monday, it said it would seek to have a Russian buyer hire its employees and pay them until the sale closes. It didn't identify a prospective buyer.
McDonald’s said it plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with its name.
"We have a long history of establishing deep, local roots wherever the Arches shine," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement. "We're exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald's make today's announcement extremely difficult.
"However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there."
McDonald's said it still expects to grow by 1.5% locations worldwide in 2022 despite the closures with a net gain of 1,300 restaurants.